We propose to develop a searchable archive of images illustrating the American Eugenics Movement for use by students, educators, and others concerned with the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of human genome research. The Archive will be based primarily on the corpus of rare materials remaining from the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, which was the epicenter of American eugenics from 1910-40. These materials have been heretofore essentially inaccessible - some remaining in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Research Archives and the bulk coming to rest within the last several years at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. The digital Archive will include photographs of eugenics researchers and caseworkers, exhibits from eugenic congresses and fairs, case materials and pedigrees from family studies, title pages and tables from monographs, and brief items from the Eugenical News and other publications. The Archive will provide in-depth resources covering major themes from which parallels can be drawn to current research and issues in human genetics - including development of eugenics as a scientific discipline, negative/positive eugenics, genetic determinism, behavioral genetics, racial/ethnic comparisons, and social policy/legislation. While the Archive should be of great interest to historians and ethicists, it is not intended as a scholarly treatise. Rather, it is intended as an educational tool to allow individuals to learn about society's past involvement in eugenics by exploring primary materials. Like pictures at an exhibition, the images are intended as visual documents that largely speak for themselves. However, we acknowledge the importance of providing adequate narrative commentary to assist the user in placing Archive materials in their historical, social, and ethical context. To deal with this key issue, we propose formal review by an Editorial Advisory Panel (EAP), which will meet at Cold Spring Harbor at three points during Archive development. Transcripts of EAP discussions will be used as the basis for contextual commentary to accompany the Archive. The Archive will be developed as a SQL database - making use of stable, well-supported Microsoft system and development software. The Archive database will be managed by the Information Service Department of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which currently administers several SQL database projects and several WWW sites (URLs www.cshl.org/, http://darwin.cshl.org/, and http://BIONET. The project team includes an educator, a research geneticist, a computer designer, and a computer programmer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHG1-ELSI-P (O2))
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Thomson, Elizabeth
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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Cold Spring Harbor
United States
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